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All Women Cast for Male Play

When a Pulitzer prize-winning ‘80s play about men aggressively fighting for superiority in the workplace is announced in this seasons Blue Room line-up, OUTinPerth thought it sounded cool. When we found out it was to be performed by a fierce, attractive, all female cast, we thought it sounded awesome.

Written by David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross tells the story of male real estate agents who are fighting to keep their jobs. The play depicts a tale of manipulation, greed, and the fight to the top. We spoke to actress Georgia King about the gender bending production that will be coming to The Blue Room this November.

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Do you think that it’s really quite common that people give up their moral obligations to kind of crawl their way to the top?

I think some people do, yeah.

How have you found playing that?

It can be very unpleasant you know. Actually being mean is quite fun but there is a few times in the play where I get ganged up on. When we get to that bit I always think ‘oh god hurry up just get it over with’, it can be really uncomfortable.

Do you dress up like men?

No, we’re taking it right out of the box, we’re not changing the words, we’re sticking with the names and the ‘he’ and ‘my wife’. It’s fairly abstract the way we’re doing it, we’re taking it right out of the literal world and stripping it and just being characters in space essentially. It’s not gender specific at all.

Glengarry Glen Ross has been done a few times, you’ve obviously taken a real twist by casting it with all women, how do you think it will change the dynamics of the play?

The language is very aggressive and it’s very masculine… so we wondered if having female voices do those things and say those things, wether it would shine a light on that behaviour. We’ve actually found it’s coming quite naturally, funnily enough. It’s not clanging as much as we thought it would, which is interesting I guess. In this day in age women can use just as harsh and violent language towards each other as men.

Do you think if you’d have come up with this idea say 50 years ago, do you it would have been completely different?

Oh, entirely different. Now there are so many more women in those kinds of jobs, sales especially, women are good at sales.  Its mainly real estate in this play and there are lots of women who are real estate agents so I think it’s normal now for women to be cut throat.

Has it been challenging playing a character that is essentially cast for a man?

I wondered if I would in the beginning, at the end of the day they’re people, what’s stronger than the gender is the situation that they’re playing. When rehearsing it I don’t think any of us are thinking about the gender issues.

Do you think this production could be considered a little bit feminist?

I guess so! It wasn’t our intention though. We’re showing that women can do the same kind of things men do, some of that is bad and ugly behaviour. It’s about equality I guess, what we’re doing.

Do you think women are more or less prone to sell their souls for financial gain?

I don’t know, I think they definitely have the capability to do that, depending on what’s at stake. I think many women probably value different things so I think if it was something a woman really valued, yeah I think she is probably just as likely to
sell out.

It is challenging gender stereotypes, do you think that it’s encompassing of the LGBT community because of that? Do you think they would find it an interesting concept?

Yeah! I can’t see why not, we’re fighting against stereotypes. I think the gay community are probably more open to that. 

Do you have any surprises up your sleeve for the production?

Besides the genders? Yeah we do actually. Just in terms of staging, and style, I think people are going to be surprised. I think people should come prepared to not see what they’re expecting to see.

Glengarry Glen Ross is on at The Blue Room in Northbridge from Tuesday November 20.

Nadine Walker

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